Uganda’s Kiira Motors Corporation has unveiled the continent’s first solar-powered bus. Dubbed “Kayoola”, the 35-seater prototype runs on two power banks. The solar panels on the roof provide enough energy for the bus to run on a range of 80 kms, travelling for 8 hours, uninterrupted.
Africa’s innovation is growing in leaps and bounds, and the launch of the continent’s first solar-powered bus by Kiira Motors Corporation in Uganda is testimony of these great strides.
The 35-seater electric prototype dubbed “Kayoola” was recently inaugurated in Kampala and it is likely to be a game changer in the country and continent’s automotive industry. The energy efficient bus runs on, “two power banks (lithium-ion batteries) which power an electric motor that is combined to a 2-speed pneumatic shift transmission,”.
The solar panels on the roof provide enough energy for the bus to run on a range of 80 kms, travelling for 8 hours, uninterrupted. According to Paul Musasizi, chief executive officer of Kiira Motors, the company aims to leverage the abundant solar power in Uganda, and most of the features on the bus were sourced, invented and assembled in the country.
“Uganda is positioned along the equator, it gives us about eight hours of significant solar energy that can be harvested,” Musasizi noted .
If the solar bus is produced for the mass market, each bus would cost around $58,000 and Kiira Motors hopes production will begin by 2018.
Uganda is at the forefront of innovation on the continent. Recently, a research team at Makerere University’s Agricultural Research Institute, one of the country’s top research units
unveiled a multi-purpose tractor, dubbed MV Mulimi. The tractor, which performs several functions apart from the conventional ploughing and transporting of crops was hailed as a laudable step in agricultural innovation on the continent.